The Arkansas Quilters Guild is a non-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of making quilts. Our members span a wide range of age and experience but all share a common love of quilts and quiltmaking.
It all started in February of 1980 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Nancy Casey and a few friends wanted to start a quilting group. Their wish was to share their knowledge of quilt making, the history of quilts, the collective experience of having their own quilts, family quilts and those of friends to learn from and at the same time have a social outlet for members. The ultimate goal was to make friends, enjoy the total “quilt experience” and teach the public more about the art of quilting. Meeting in Nancy’s kitchen were Nancy, Mary Morgan, Barbara O’Connor, Betty McAdams and Pat Apel. Their humble contribution of $5.00 each to cover whatever expenses the group might incur and their eagerness to work and share gave birth to the Arkansas Quilters Guild.
News of this group began to spread and soon there were more women wanting to join and before long a larger meeting place needed to be found. They began to meet in Nancy’s church. The meetings were growing larger and there was a keen interest in all things pertaining to quilting. Members joined from all areas of the state. Soon a quilt show was planned. Classes and demonstrations of various types of quilting were taking place. More and more people came. There were retreats taking place at the 4H Center in Ferndale. Happily, this was not only happening in Little Rock – the 1976 Quilt Revival had taken root and was blooming all over the country!
Over the years, the guild has sponsored many shows. The most attended one was in 1988
when AQG was the local sponsor for the National Quilt Association Show at Robinson Center. There were thousands of quilters from all over the country in attendance with then Governor Bill Clinton giving an opening address. A great time was had by all and more and more plans were being made.
The guild produced a quilt history book, ARKANSAS QUILTS published by the American Quilters Society in Paducah, Kentucky. Some time later a national quilt museum was opened in Paducah and several members have quilts in the permanent collection of MAQS. The guild is fortunate to have had many members whose talents and quilt careers blossomed not only because of their talent and hard work, but from what the experience of being an active guild member taught them. Many of these members became teachers and are still teaching today.
Now in a new century, while meeting locations have changed from time to time, members have come and gone, quilting styles have have gone in and out, and time spent quilting seems even more precious than ever, there is still a huge interest in the subject. The guild is, to this day, still attracting members who have a love of quilting and want to share it. Quilting is more popular than ever. Thanks to all modern conveniences, the ever growing number of books, television shows, electronic gadgets and gizmos, the internet and an almost bewildering choice of new fabrics, you will find all ages of men and women quilting, here in Little Rock and all over the planet. We believe those five ladies, whose 1980 wishes were surely granted, are still with us in heart and spirit as we continue. The beat goes on!
Monthly meetings are held the 2nd Monday of each month at 6:30 pm at the North Little Rock Community Center, 2700 Willow Street, North Little Rock, Arkansas (across from the Patrick Hays Senior Citizen Center). Social hour begins at 5:30 pm. Map
Name tags should be worn to Guild meetings and any other Guild activity or event. The pattern and directions for making a Guild name tag can be found here: Name Tag Pattern
Arkansas Quilters Guild
P. O. Box 2258
North Little Rock, AR 72115